Believe in Hope

Novel, a 14 year old teenager from Indonesia, was born with serious bilateral cleft lip and palate. Novel had his first surgery when he was at the age of 1, then he underwent another 3 surgeries between the ages of 4 and 7. Unfortunately, none of these surgeries worked out very well. Novel and his mom were traumatized and didn't want to try surgery any more. 
 
 
On the other hand, Novel’s dad had been physically and emotionally violent toward Novel and his mom since Novel was little. Novel’s dad couldn’t accept the fact that his son was born with a cleft lip and palate, and considered Novel as a curse. Being victim of domestic violence for years, Novel’s mom made the decision to end this marriage and moved back to live with Novel’s grandma. Novel now lives with his grandma, mom and younger brother. Novel’s mum’s 4 USD monthly salary has to cover the whole family's expenses. Novel's mom is a strong woman; despite all of these heart-breaking experiences, she still wants to give the best to her family. 
 
In 2017, “Children of Sumatra,” a local NGO in Indonesia who found Novel when he was 1 year old, and helped him to arrange those surgeries, contacted the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation (NCF) in Taiwan. The NCF has been working with the reputable Craniofacial Center of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) for decades, and is dedicated in providing essential support to domestic and overseas craniofacial patients. After evaluating Novel’s case, the NCF decided to help Novel by referring him to Taiwan for further treatment.
 
 
“Shall I believe in miracles? If one still exists.” Novel’ mom couldn’t take any more failure but, for the sake of Novel’s future, she decided to try again. Soon, Novel and his mom were arranged to fly to Taiwan. In July 2017, Novel and his mom finally made their way to Taiwan. The CGMH evaluated Novel and scheduled him for surgery a week after. The surgery was a big success and Novel was in good recovery. Both Novel and his mom are happy with the result. 
 
Novel has definitely become more confident since his operation. “I would like to work with the police or be a teacher when I grow up,” Novel said. Also, Novel’s family seem to be so much more relaxed and happy. Novel still has some necessary, follow-up treatments – such as speech therapy, dental care and bone graft surgery - but that has been postponed until the pandemic situation improves in Indonesia. “Thank you for giving us hope. Thank you for the miracle.” 
 
“Give life a chance, and it will find its own way.” - Dr. Noordhoff, founder of the NCF.
 
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